Florida cold snap finally on its way out


Tuesday morning lows in Ft. Pierce, Melbourne, and Vero Beach were the coolest of the season. West Palm Beach’s low of 43 was the coldest since last February. (Credit: NWS-Melbourne)

There was some no foolin’ coolin’ going on in South Florida Tuesday morning as temperatures dropped into the 30s and 40s. The apparent low in West Palm Beach, 43, was the coldest since Feb. 11, 2016.

The low in Palm Beach was 49.

It was 34 in Palmdale west of Lake Okeechobee, 40 in Belle Glade and 37 in Immokalee; and a South Florida Water Management District weather station just east of Naples at the Picayune Strand State Forest reported a freezing temperature of 31 degrees.

In Central Florida, it was 32 in Okeechobee; 33 in Fort Pierce; 34 in Vero Beach; 39 in Kissimmee; and 45 in Stuart.

In North Florida, it was 34 in Gainesville; 34 in Lake City and 42 in St. Augustine.

On the West Coast it was 45 in Clearwater; 41 in Sarasota and 41 in Tampa.

The warmest temps of the morning were on the southeast coasts of Broward and Miami-Dade counties — Miami held at 55, a full 12 degrees warmer than West Palm Beach, and it was 51 in Fort Lauderdale.

Tuesday’s apparent low in Key West was 57.

The month-ending cold snap did take some of the wind out of the sails of January’s above-normal temperature streak, slashing the average monthly temp to 69.3 at Palm Beach International Airport, 72.9 in Miami; 71 in Fort Lauderdale 68.6 in Naples. Those numbers will edge down again after Tuesday’s readings go into the books.

Sunday’s high temperatures tied records in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach for coolest maximum — 62 in Fort Lauderdale, tying 1978, and 59 in West Palm Beach, tying 1955. Naples broke its record with 60 degrees, beating the old mark of 64 set in 2007.

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center continues to forecast above normal temperatures in Florida through most of February, but long-range forecasts have also begun to suggest a wetter than normal month for the state.

The month will certainly not start out on a wet note. The only chance of precipitation mentioned by the National Weather Service is on Sunday, when there’s a 20 percent chance of a shower, 10 percent in the Keys.

Highs through the weekend — through most of the peninsula and the Keys — should trend up near 80, with lows in the upper 60s.


A major warm-up is in the forecast for the Keys — and statewide. (Credit: NWS-Key West)


Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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